Paul Smith ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ prints benefit amfAR


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Fashion designer Paul Smith has created a quartet of limited-edition silk-screened posters celebrating the U.S. release of the ‘70s-era espionage film ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ which hits theaters stateside on Dec. 9.

The movie, based on John le Carré's novel of the same name, focuses on the hunt for a mole in British intelligence and is set in 1973 and ’74. Smith apparently consulted with director Tomas Alfredson in the early development stages of the film, offering his thoughts and insights on the mood, color and photographic approach to 1970s-era London. (Smith, once an aspiring professional cyclist, embarked on his long and distinguished fashion career in 1970.)


The images on the posters, a circus tent and a chess piece among them, are references that will make sense to anyone who has seen the film, and the stark black, red and white color palette perfectly evokes the Cold War backdrop against which the film takes place.

I caught a recent press screening, and, while I’d already heard some of the film’s fashion buzz (Gary Oldman finding the perfect pair of glasses for his version of George Smiley at a local vintage store, Aquascutum re-creating a specific ‘70s-era beige Mac among them), I wasn’t prepared for the movie’s serious style quotient. The spies (Oldman, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch among them) were dressed by the film’s costume designer Jacqueline Durran, in a rich assortment of textured three-piece suits, silk neckties and pocket squares, each man ever-so-subtly differentiated by his style (barrel cuff versus French cuff, double-breasted suit versus single-breasted, choice of footwear).

The four limited-edition screen-printed posters are numbered in editions of 50 and each one is signed by Smith. Available at all Paul Smith shops (including the 8221 Melrose Ave. boutique locally) as of Dec. 1, they are priced at $160 a piece, with all profits going to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.


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-- Adam Tschorn